October 6, 2011 There is something special about growing food…getting your hands in the dirt, weeding, coaxing that piece of fruit to its full ripeness, harvesting, and sharing the bounty. It is an action that was done as a matter of course not too long ago, but as progress and populations have increased, many of us have become removed from such endeavors.
But there has been a recent return to growing food. Many families have dug up a space in their backyard (heck, some in their front yard!) to grow some beans or tomatoes, others have joined a community garden, and some are growing potted herbs on their balcony.
In Missoula, MT, they are taking it a step further with a program called Garden City Harvest. Their intent is “to build community through agriculture by growing produce with and for people with low-incomes, offering education and training in ecologically conscious agriculture, and using our sites for the personal restoration of youth and adults.”
Local journalist Jeremy N. Smith has documented the process in his new book, Growing a Garden City. It tells the story of the people involved in the program and explains how it can be replicated in other communities.
“People know about local food now. They know about community farms and gardens. They’ve heard about a teeny piece of it, but this book shows all those teeny pieces put together and you see the bigger picture for the first time.” -Jeremy N. Smith
KECI news segment on “Growing a Garden City”: